First lady presents D80,000 to the first babies of the year

Monday, January 5, 2009
Her Excellency First Lady Madam Zainab Yahya Jammeh on Thursday presented an amount of D80,000 on behalf of His Excellency, the president of the Republic of The Gambia, Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh to the first babies of the year at a presentation ceremony held at the Maternity Ward of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul.

This is a tradition that is always observed at the beginning of the year. This year, an amount of D40,000 was given to the first baby of 2009 (who happens to be a girl). D30,000 was given to the second baby girl and D10,000 to the first baby boy.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Her Excellency Madam Zainab Jammeh, thanked the nurses who left their families to spend the whole night in the hospital working hard to help the women and their babies.

Madam Jammeh then presented D10,000 to each of the three sets of nurses that attended the first babies of the year. For her part, Honourable Fatou Jahumpa-Ceesay, the speaker of the National Assembly, revealed that since they started next year will be the tenth anniversary of  “Operation Save A Baby”. “Next year, we want to make it a very big occasion, a grand one, and we will make sure that all those children will join us and the first lady to celebrate the 10 years,” she disclosed.

Speaker Jahumpa-Ceesay also said that under the leadership of HE Madam Zainab Jammeh, who is the chief patroness of “Operation Save A Baby”, they were able to raise a lot of money and they have done a lot of renovation in the Maternity Ward of the RVTH.  She also thanked the president and government for their support and contributions. The speaker further appealed to others, especially the business community, to help the operation as they have a lot of projects in the pipeline.

Dr Mariatou Jallow, the secretary of state for Health and Social Welfare, thanked the first couple for being so supportive to the hospital. She stated that renovation of the ward has been made possible by their contribution and echoed the speaker’s appeal for others to help.

The first lady also present donations from the main sponsors of the ward - Gamtel/ Gamcel, SSHFC and GPA. Each of the sponsors donated D12,000 and some baby items to each of the first babies of the year.

Kebba Dibba, the father of the first baby of the year, speaking in an interview, expressed happiness and thanked the Almighty Allah. He also thanked the first family for initiating the humanitarian gesture, noting that it is one of many that they are involved in.

Author: by Mariatou Ngum-Saidy